Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2015

On Jordan's Bank

John 1:19


And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from
Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
And fthey which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then,
if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

Luther's Sermon (Erl 10, 113) for this Sunday points out that John is the last prophet--he's not talking about a Christ who is coming, but rather the Christ who is already among us ("...there standeth among you, whom ye know not")

Here's a wonderful exposition of this text in Music:

On Jordan's Bank (TLH #63)

On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
Announces that the Lord is nigh;
Come, then, and hearken, for he brings
Glad tidings from the King of kings.

Then cleansed by every Christian breast
And furnished for so great a Guest.
Yea, let us each our hearts prepare
For Christ to come and enter there.

For Thou art our Salvation, Lord,
Our Refuge, and our great Reward.
Without Thy grace our souls must fade
And wither like a flower decayed.

Lay on the sick Thy healing hand
And make the fallen strong to stand;
Show us the glory of Thy face
Till beauty springs in every place.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee
Who advent sets Thy people free,
Whom, with the Father, we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

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